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THE REV. CHARLES WESLEY, M.A.,
SOMETIME STUDENT OF CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD.
TO WHICH ARE APPENDED
SELECTIONS FROM HIS CORRESPONDENCE
AN INTRODUCTION AND OCCASIONAL NOTES,
BY THOMAS JACKSON.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
We gather up, with pious care,
What happy saints have left behind;
Their sayings on our faithful mind :
For patterns to ourselves we take;
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Religious projects and actions not unfrequently produce results which their authors never contemplated. When the two Wesleys at Oxford became impressed with the supreme importance of Christian piety, as the great end of their being, and regarded it as an absolute conformity to the will of God, they adopted the purest rules of conduct; keeping a constant watch over their minds and hearts, and subjecting themselves at stated periods to the most searching scrutiny ; that they might ascertain whether or not they had fulfilled their sacred vows, or had trified with their engagements and responsibilities. That they might be the better able to discharge the duty of self-examination, each of them commenced the practice of keeping a journal, in which they carefully recorded the events of every day, with their spiritual conflicts, victories, and failures; for the purpose of calling forth increased gratitude, humility, or caution, as the case might be. Of course these personal and moral histories were, in the first instance, never intended to meet the public eye, but merely to promote the religious benefit of the writers; for, when these simpleminded, but gifted, men began this practice, they intended to spend their lives in comparative retirement and seclusion, not having the most distant thought of the notoriety which was afterwards forced upon them.
In these matters, however, they were overruled, being providentially called from the cloisters of Oxford to preach salvation by faith in the highways and hedges ; quence of which the world was filled with the report of